Chris Christie has joined in on the calls to impeach President Donald Trump before Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, telling ABC’s Stephanopoulos on Sunday, that doing so would be the proper response to the deadly attack by the president’s supporters on the Capitol after weeks of his encouragement.
Appearing on “This Week,” the former New Jersey governor and Trump supporter advised Republicans in Congress that if articles of impeachment are brought forward – which many Democrats have said will happen Monday – they should “look at what happened” at the Capitol on Wednesday and then “vote their conscience.”
“What we had was an incitement to riot at the United States Capitol. We had people killed, and to me there’s not a whole lot of question here,” Christie said. “I think if inciting to insurrection isn’t [an impeachable offense], I don’t really know what it is.”
Chris Christie tells @GStephanopoulos Trump’s incitement of Capitol siege is an impeachable offense: “If inciting to insurrection isn’t, then I don’t really know what is.” https://t.co/FnD9YSf2TE pic.twitter.com/rONPP8C0x3
– This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 10, 2021
Democrats have announced their decision to file new articles of impeachment against Trump on Monday, having already voted to impeach Trump almost a year ago. It is unclear where the new impeachment efforts will lead, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that any impeachment matters will not be taken up by the Senate until at least Jan. 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn into office. The impeachment vote is expected to pass the House and, should two-thirds of the Senate also vote in favor, Trump would not be able to run for president again in 2024.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted almost unanimously against removing Trump from office last year, and with the Democrats set to take control after the Georgia runoff election with 50 senators and an executive tiebreak, at least 16 Republican senators would need to vote in favor of impeachment. While Christie reserved some criticism for Democrats, saying that the first impeachment effort based on Trump’s alleged attempts to ask Ukraine’s president to subvert the 2020 election “cheapened” the impeachment process, he added that he would vote in favor of removing Trump from office.
Five people were killed during the insurrection this past Wednesday, as thousands of Trump supporters gathered at the Capitol with dozens breaking inside during a vote to certify the results of the 2020 election. Despite weeks of warning that such an attack was being planned, Capitol police were unable — and in some instances unwilling — to stop the attack, with videos of some officers taking selfies with Trump supporters as rioters broke windows and stole items from legislators’ offices, including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the wake of the attack, the Capitol police chief and the House & Senate sergeants-at-arms resigned. On Sunday morning, it was reported that a Capitol police officer took his own life.
Christie also slammed Trump for his actions, or lack thereof, in the days following the attack.
“I mean it is a national disgrace … that the flag at the White House is not half-staff for that Capitol Hill Police officer who gave his life in protecting one of our institutions of democracy,” Christie added. “If we’re having to fit of pique, and that’s why we’re not putting a flag at half-staff, it’s just another example of why people think that these decisions are not being made on the merits.”